News Sam Kerr urges teammates to use their World Cup...

Sam Kerr urges teammates to use their World Cup failure as motivation


Matildas captain Sam Kerr has urged her Australian teammates to use their World Cup failures as fuel in their quest for Olympic gold in Tokyo.

The national women's football team plays their first game since an early exit from France when they meet in Chile in Parramatta on Saturday.

The friendly, which is expected to attract a record number of visitors, is the first in a series of two games that will be a tough Olympic qualifying campaign in February.

The second game is Tuesday in Adelaide.

Kerr admitted that he was chased by such a disappointing campaign in June, but is one of the 18 players who get another chance this week.

"As a footballer you never really come across things like (the World Cup)," said Kerr.

"I'm still thinking about things that happened and moments in games and I think that's just a way for football players. But you do that at every game.

"We will always remember it, but now we can use it as a tool for the next tournament we are going to and remember those moments.

"I think we will probably think about it until the next World Cup. But we have now moved on and are ready to start playing again."

The matches against Chile will be crucial for Milicic, whose party will not play again until their first Olympic qualifier against Chinese Tapei on 3 February.

The Matildas also have pool games against Thailand and China, with the top two of their group continuing to a play-off round against the other pool.

The two winners book their flights to Japan.

"Always as a coach of the national team, you want more matches," said Milicic.

"You look at our opponent (on Saturday), they've had four since the World Cup. We haven't had any, so you always want more matches.

"With the figures we have, we want to give everyone the opportunity to present themselves in the coming days."

Australia is currently in eighth place in the world, while Chile is at number 37.

But Milicic reminded his players of their 2-0 defeat on the South American side last year on their own soil, before returning 5-0 in a second game.

"We will certainly not underestimate this opponent, especially the way the games took place last time," said Milicic, who confirmed that Jenna McCormick would make his debut.

"They were respectable during the World Cup and also recently had a draw with Brazil.

"Countries that invest and have a strong football culture such as Chile, they are the ones that are rising."



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